ASIO4ALL & Windows - everything you need to know

Do I need to install ASIO4ALL?

  • If you are a Mac user, then No.

  • If you are a Windows user with an external audio interface (see example image below), then No, you do not need to install ASIO4ALL. The reason is that your audio interface will most likely come with its own ASIO driver. If this describes your setup, then do not install ASIO4ALL. Note that a small number of audio interface manufacturers use ASIO4ALL rather than producing their own ASIO driver. If your audio interface is one of these, then you do need ASIO4ALL and you probably have it installed already.

  • If you are a Windows user and you don’t have an external audio interface, then you probably do need to install ASIO4ALL. For a small percentage of Windows users, the regular Windows audio driver works well with Flock. But the vast majority will need to install ASIO4ALL.

What is the difference between ASIO and ASIO4ALL?

In general, Windows does not offer a standard way to send low-latency, high fidelity audio between a software program and a computer’s sound card. ASIO is a software protocol that aims to solve this problem and is used extensively by music professionals. Many hardware manufacturers for musical equipment and external audio interfaces provide their own ASIO driver, a small piece of software, to enable their audio equipment to work well (i.e. at low latency) with Windows and a computer’s sound card.

If you have an external audio interface, then the manufacturer usually creates their own proprietary ASIO driver that is designed to work with their hardware. However, if you don’t have specialist equipment, you’ll need to use a free implementation of ASIO, such as ASIO4ALL.

How to setup ASIO4ALL - the basics

  1. Download ASIO4ALL here and install it. Select the Off-Line Settings checkbox during the installation process.

  2. Plug in your USB headset.

    Remember you need a USB headset or alternatively, a USB mic and USB headphones. The Sennheiser or the Sandberg USB headsets are recommended.

  3. Click the Settings button on the bottom left of the screen and then click Audio at the top right.

  4. For Audio device type, select ASIO.

  5. For Device, select ASIO4ALL v2.

  6. Click Control Panel and the ASIO4ALL settings window will display.

    • Sennheiser USB headset settings
    • Sandberg USB headset
    • Instructions for the ASIO4ALL Control Panel window
      • Click the icon next to Sennheiser USB Headset or USB PnP Sound Device so that it becomes light blue (enabled). Ensure that all the other devices (in this case Realtek and NVIDIA) are disabled, i.e. do not have a light blue icon and arrow next to them. You can click on the icon next to the entry to enable/disable it.
      • Select your USB headset so that it has a white highlight over it. Then in the bottom of the window, set the ASIO Buffer Size = 128 samples.
      • Select the Always Resample checkbox.
  7. Close the ASIO4ALL Control Panel and then in Flock:

    • set Sample rate = 44100 Hz
    • set Audio buffer size = 128 samples
    • click the Reset Device button
  8. Click the Test button. You should hear a clear tone in your headset.

  9. Click the Close button. When you speak into the mic, you should see the sound level moving.

How to setup ASIO4ALL - video guide

The video below describes the same steps as written above to setup ASIO4ALL with Flock. Two disclaimers about the video:

  1. If you want to watch the video at the same time as configuring ASIO4ALL, then rather watch the video on a different device (e.g. on a phone or a tablet or even another computer). The reason is that ASIO4ALL takes exclusive use of the mic and headphones and so you will lose audio on the Youtube video.

  2. The video was made using an earlier version of Flock and the user interface has changed since then. ASIO4ALL has not changed so all the configuration instructions remain the same. For exact instructions in Flock, see the text in the section above.

More advanced examples

Some Windows users have configurations which are more complex than the basic setup described above. If you are having difficulties getting ASIO4ALL to work with Flock, then this next video gives some further examples and tips.

Further reading

Troubleshooting Guide - this guide applies to both Windows and Mac. It describes typical issues and how to solve them.